Days 1-3: Sankaber (3250m), Gich (3600m) and Chennek (3600m)
The first three days of our expedition follows the same schedule as the first three days of the Sankaber-Gich-Chennek trek. As we trek between the Sankaber, Gich and Chennek camps we take in the stunning landscapes and precipitous cliffs of the escarpment, ascend summits including Imet-Gogo (3926m) and Inatye (4070m) and encounter a variety of wildlife including gelada baboon, Walia ibex and lammergeyer.
Day 4: Ambiko (3200m), 6-8 hours
We begin our trek towards the distant Ras Dejen range by ascending eastwards from Chennek camp, our climb of Buwahit pass (4200m) affording fine views of the verdant valley that we are leaving, of Buwahit peak to our right and ahead over the very different landscape of the Menesha River valley and its tributaries to Ras Dejen beyond. From the viewpoint we descend steeply into the valley, passing through the village of Chiro-Leba, before joining walking alongside a tributary along a path that leads eventually to to the Menesha river. We then branch away from the river to ascend to the camp at Ambiko, where we spend the night in preparation for our ascent of Ras Dejen early the following morning.
Day 5: Ambiko to Ras Dejen (4533m), round trip, 7-8 hours
Our climb of more than 1000m to the peak of Ras Dejen begins with breakfast before dawn. We leave Ambiko by following the valley, passing the village of Misma (3500m) before reaching the crest of a ridge that gives excellent views of the sun rising over a larger valley below. We continue to follow the path eastwards in the direction of Ras Dejen’s rocky west face. With the sun’s rays beginning to reach over the peaks ahead of us, we follow a wide ridge to reach a corrie surrounded by three imposing summits. Following a gulley to the left, we climb up to the highest of them, Ras Dejen, to enjoy views into the distance in all directions, with the rocky features of the range’s east face highlighted by the morning sun. After allowing plenty of time to rest and appreciate this unique place, we return to Ambiko by the same route. We spend the afternoon recuperating over a large lunch and a well-earned rest.
Day 6: Return to Chennek (3600m), 6-8 hours
We return to Chennek by re-tracing the path that we followed on Day 4. With the sun at our backs as we walk westwards, this trek provides an excellent opportunity to contrast the peak of Buwahit – ahead of us to the south-west for most of the walk – and the western escarpment of the National Park, with the Ras Dejen range that we walked towards on Day 4.
Day 7: Chennek to Buhawit (4430m), round trip, 5-6 hours
The concluding day of our visit to the Simien National Park includes an optional morning climb from Chennek camp to the second highest peak in the Simien Mountains, Buwahit (4430m). During the climb to the summit we will spot a variety of animals including Walia ibex and, if we are lucky, a rare sighting of another mammal endemic to Ethiopia, the Simien fox, and be rewarded by scenic views into the verdant valley extending westwards beyond Chennek camp and, in a vivid contrast, the striking view to the east as far as Ras-Dejen. Guests exhausted by the previous few days’ exertions to Ras Dejen and back may prefer to spend a more relaxed morning exploring the environs of Chennek, encountering the many types of wildlife that venture very close to this most attractive of campsites. After a final lunch, we begin our departure from the National Park with a scenic drive westwards to return us, first, to Debark before continuing on to reach Gondar in the early evening.
- 4WD transportation to and from Gonder
- domestic flights and hotel bookings
- profesional guide and scout
- cook & cooking materials
- mule(s) & mule handler
- tent, sleeping bags & mattresses
- all park entrance fees
- plenty of food & bottled mineral water